A Simple Reminder

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© 2018 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

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The Words You Need to Hear

A moment can change everything. May you find the power to uncover so many beautiful little moments in this day.

Today, may you laugh with freedom over a silly little play on words.

May you sit on the bus, without headphones in your ears.

May you accomplish a hurdle at work, with all your wisdom and all your strength.

And may you choose to let go – of those you miss, and your past mistakes. They are over. They are gone. No amount of writing and rewriting will cause that to change.

Still, may you choose to write. And read, and breathe beyond the confines of the story that you tell. We all have a story. We still have many a blank page.

May you rise with the joy of knowing what it means to be alive. May you set your intention to just live your life.

Today, in this moment, may you take a breath in, easing the tension in your forehead. Letting the wrinkles fade to calm, may you begin a beautifully crisp and fresh day.

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© 2018 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

Finding Your Center

You’re seated on a stool, your knees spread out at sixty degrees, wide enough to fit the bowl of a potter’s wheel. Your right foot balances the pedal, while your hands grace the sides of the damp, tender clay. You don’t know yet what this clay will become, but, together, you and the clay will find a place of being centered.

This is the experience of being a potter, and this is the memory that propelled me into the world of art. Dentistry, at its heart, is an art form, taking pottery to the scale of a tooth. But before I held dental composite, I held the simple clay of the Earth. And, grasping at nature, I became an artist.

Beyond writing, my art forms include pottery, jewelry making, origami (with special interest in making jewelry and magnets based in origami work), and miniatures.

Many of my art pieces have found homes with creative buyers, and now they have their very own page on my blog. CLICK HERE to find out more about my art and check back often for updates!

Do you have a creative side? Tell us about it! Share your work and interests in the comments below.

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

Your Monday Morning Meditation

Where do you focus your energy?

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You wake up each day to the beep of an alarm. But you don’t get up, not yet. Instead, you lie in bed, hands open, body flat, eyes closed. You imagine yourself in the calm of a cloud. As you start to sink into its cotton surroundings, you notice the tension in your scalp. You feel that tension deeply, and you choose to let it go. You move down to your forehead, feeling the tension, and allowing release. You then move to your eyelids, your lips, your neck, and your shoulders, each time feeling the tension, and letting it go. You exhale softly as you do this, releasing the weight of your thoughts in the warmth of your breath. You whisper in muted sound, ‘Today is going to be great.’

When you get to your toes, feeling the tension and letting it go, you start to notice your body feels heavy. You feel the curve of your back sinking into the cushion of your bed. You feel the weight of your head molding the fluff of your pillow. You are safe. You are held. You are carried by the softness that surrounds you. And in the trust of the world, you let go of control. You let your body fall without worry; you let yourself sink into your surroundings.

Until you can’t sink any further, and you open your eyes, and open your mind. You open your heart to possibility, and to gratitude for the day. Nothing has yet happened. The day hasn’t started. Even if you have a meeting scheduled or an exam set, it hasn’t happened. Your day is a blank slate. Your possibilities are endless.

Coming back to the world, you notice the walls of your room. You notice the texture of your ceiling. You feel the temperature of the air. And you let a smile lift your face.

Anything can happen. And you begin your day excited by faith.

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

L’Shanah Tovah

Happy new year to all my friends, family, and neighbors near and far in celebration. Wishing you a holiday of mindful appreciation, and a year of sweetness, joy, laughter, and love. 

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You have given us the ability to become more than we have
been, the urge to be more than we are, and a gnawing hunger to
attain heights only dimly imagined.


For the power to grow, we give thanks.


You have endowed us with the capacity to discern the difference
between right and wrong; and You have enabled us to follow the
right, to avoid the wrong.


For the power to choose, we give thanks.


You have blessed us with the ability to fashion things of beauty, to
sing new songs, to spin new tales, to add to the treasure-house of
human civilization.


For the power to create, we give thanks.


You have equipped us with the yearning to commune with You, to
bring You our fears and our dreams, our hurts and our joys, our guilt
and our gratitude; to share hopes and concerns with You and with
others.


For the power to pray, we give thanks.


You have fortified us with the ability to rise above disappointment
and failure, to go on after we have been bruised and bereaved, to
refuse to submit to defeat and despair.


For the power to hope, we give thanks.


You have enlarged us with the ability to cherish others, to make
their lives as dear to us as our very own, to share their hopes, to feel
their hurts, to know their hearts.


For the power to love, we give thanks.


You have ennobled us with the strength to overcome our faults, to
mend our ways, and to answer the summons “to turn to You with
all our heart and soul.”


For the possibilities of renewal, we give thanks!

(Machzor for Rosh Hashanah)

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

Harness Your Power To Heal

A woman sat beside me at the doctor’s office. “I’m in pain,” she said, cradling her knee. Under the flow of her skirt, I couldn’t see what was wrong. Was it swollen? Was it bruised? Was she bleeding and bandaged? All I knew were her words: ‘I’m in pain.’

 

As we humans tend to do, my first instinct was sympathy. Phrases like, ‘I’m so sorry to hear that,’ and ‘Can I do anything for you?’ came to mind. Thoughts of fetching an ice pack and consoling a stranger claimed my brain.

 

But I didn’t even know if she needed ice!

And as a medical provider trained in empathy, I could hear how distancing these words really were. ‘I’m sorry to hear that,’ is nice, but it doesn’t mean I share in your pain. ‘Can I do anything for you’ is generous, but it still makes this pain your problem, not mine. In a world of personal boundaries, sympathy is the safest of routes, but it’s far from the most healing.

 

But the empathetic route, the option to turn to her and say, ‘That must be hard’ or ‘I can’t even imagine what you are experiencing,’ just didn’t seem right either. Because her knee hurt – I could imagine that much. And, as I have learned in my years of improv comedy, never assume another person is thinking the same as you. Maybe this pain is something that excites her – though, that would feel odd. Or, maybe her experience is anger, not sorrow. Maybe she’s angry because her kid left a toy in the hallway and that led to her trip and fall. I hear an improvised ‘Yes, and…’ in the distance. Maybe her kid is a teenager and the game was a video game console that he was supposed to put away hours ago! The real pain is having to deal with that son of hers when she gets home.

 

Who am I to assume another’s story?

And who am I to intrude on her experience? Sure, I could ask how she feels. I could ask her to tell me more, but I wasn’t her doctor. I wasn’t even an acquaintance. I was a neighbor, a fellow patient in waiting. I was a woman sitting in the same position as her with the only difference being our chief complaints.

 

And even as a complete stranger, I carried the power to help.

 

“Have you heard of biofeedback?” I asked, speaking as though I was simply starting a casual conversation. With a neurological illness as a child, biofeedback was one of the many tools at my disposal. With patients in the dental chair, biofeedback was one of the most powerful techniques for alleviating the anxious mind. And in the absence of technology, I knew meditation could be just as complete. “Your mind is a powerful thing.”

 

I closed my eyes and rested my hands. I softened my shoulders, and let my head fall. I felt the chair beneath my body, and the floor beneath my feet. I asked her to do the same. I took a deep breath in, tasting the air of my surroundings, smelling the plastic of the waiting room chairs. I took a deep breath out, purifying my body of that doctor office smell. I pictured what kind of room the smell came from. I let that image go. I pictured the paintings on the walls. I let those paintings go.

 

“My hands feel heavy,” I whispered, letting their weight fall into my lap. She repeated. She felt the same.

 

“My arms feel heavy,” I whispered, letting my shoulders sag against their weight. She repeated. She did the same.

 

“My arms feel warm,” I smiled, embracing the air around me. My eyes were closed, but I like to imagine she felt the same.

 

“I feel calm and relaxed,” I inhaled, dropping expression from my face. “I feel calm and relaxed,” I exhaled, dropping pain from my mind. “I feel calm and relaxed,” I finished, nearly falling asleep.

 

“Rosa, Rosa Sorencio!” A nurse called a name in the distance, opening our eyes to attention. “Rosa!”

 

And just as quickly as we met, we parted ways, but we weren’t strangers any more. We weren’t women in passing. We were neighbors, or slightly more, united by a moment of calm, gathered in the strength of our own beautiful minds.

 

And if you think this is just a story, think again! Because your mind is just as powerful. Your strength is just as beautiful.

 

Each and every one of us carries such an incredible power of healing. Our only true barrier to calm is our noisy selves.

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I close my eyes. I relax.

I am at peace.

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

What Truly Matters

You are standing on a sports field with a line of strangers. The grass is just mowed, damp from the morning rain. Gnats are gathering at your ankles, and the sun is shining on your back. The warmth leaves a trickle of sweat down your shirt, but you stay still, listening to the man before you.

“Take a step forward,” the man calls, standing bald and boxy at 5’11. “For every time you said ‘good’ when someone asked how you were doing this week.”

For those of you at home, count your steps in deep breaths.

 “And take a step forward,” he continues, “for every time you tried to hide your tired eyes in skin-colored makeup.”

You listen, and respond with a step.

“Take another step for every moment this week that didn’t go as you planned.”

You walk and walk, until you are circling back across the field.

“And reach your arms to your body in a hug for every time things went their own way, and you followed that new track.”

Chances are, you are not the only one standing in self-embrace at this moment. Chances are, you are not the only one with your arms still at your side. Chances are, where you stand at this moment doesn’t matter. But it’s easy to forget, in seeing where others stand, that this is really the case. We look out for comparison. Are we good? Are we right? Are we keeping up with the pack? We look down at ourselves to see what could be different, perhaps better. We wonder how all of our decisions amounted to this present state. Could we have decided differently?

And we get stuck in a cycle of self-doubt.

If only I were different. If only I knew then what I know now. If only. If only.

If only we would stop! And see that where we are is okay. Because this is what is. This is reality. No, it’s not the same as our neighbor’s reality. And often, it’s not where we hoped we would be at this time in our lives. But oh, boy, is our reality filled with opportunity!

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You lost someone from your life?

Okay. It happened, and now you have a chance to be that energy and strength for yourself.

You faced a roadblock in your job?

Fantastic! The hard part is over, and now you can really, truly grow. Real fulfillment comes from challenge and perseverance anyways!

The reality is, when we get lost in doubt, comparisons, cycles of what ifs, we forget what truly matters: We are powerless. The world, the people around us are not ours to control. AND, in the absence of control, we can find the strength to let life change course, and to still choose to move forward.

So take a deep breath with me, and look into a mirror. Notice your eyes, the authenticity coming from beneath that mask we so often wear. And say aloud – yes, aloud! – “I am powerless, AND I have such strength.”

You are here. And here is good, because here and now is simply what is.

 

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.